Every home organization project starts with a thorough purge of every item that you no longer need, use, or want.  Long term organization is not possible without the first step – DECLUTTERING!  Learn an easy to follow process to finally eliminate the clutter in your home, and use this step by step guide to feel confident in the decisions you are making about the items you intend to keep and donate.



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Episode 59 - The Ultimate Purging Guide: DECLUTTER Every Room in Your Home & Be Confident in Your Decisions to KEEP, TOSS or DONATE!





Full Episode Transcription (not edited):

Every home organization, project starts with a thorough purge, a ruthless declutter of every item that you no longer need use or want long term organization is not possible without the first step. The first step is always decluttering learn and easy to follow process to finally eliminate the clutter in your home and use the step by step guide, to feel confident in the decisions you’re making about the items you intend to keep and donate. Hey moms, welcome to the intentional edit podcast. Do you wanna stop feeling overwhelmed and finally get your home organized. Do you find yourself up late at night, worrying about how you are going to get everything done and not drop the ball? You are wondering where to start and what to do. There is never enough time in the day. The piles of laundry are building up and it’s already time for after school activities, homework, snacks, and carpool.

Speaker 1: (00:51)
Again, I’m Lauren. I too want an organized, clean home where my family can make long lasting memories and be present in the moment feeling like there’s never enough time to all the daily tasks is exhausting simplicity all around a healthy mule on the table at dinnertime and a family that contributes to the chores really is attainable. Stop telling yourself that you have to do it all or it will never get done. Or that picky eaters will never allow for a complain free dinner. In this podcast, you will learn exactly how to declutter implement system and maximize routines that remove the overwhelming unorganized parts of life. Bringing simplicity to your life and home. Come on. It’s time to create a life you love.

Speaker 1: (01:39)
Hey friends, welcome to another episode of the intentional edit podcast. I am happy to have you back here today, listening to this episode where I talk all about decluttering and purging, I am getting so many comments from all of you about decluttering and clutter and how to get rid of clutter. What to do. You’re loving the podcast episodes and spring. The clean must have you motivated because everything that’s coming in is really about clutter, clutter, clutter. Like what do I do? How do I get this out of my space? I wanna be organized. Well, I’m focusing this episode on decluttering. I have a lot of other episodes on how to purge, how to clear the clutter in your home and get rid of it. But it’s so important. Truly the first step in home organization, when you have the desire or you reach out to a professional organizer or a another mom, a coach like me with questions about home organization, we can’t give you the answers unless you do a thorough purge, a ruthless declutter.

Speaker 1: (02:43)
You have to get of the things that you no longer need use or want. It sounds simple when I put it like that, but it’s a process. And I wanna remind you, clutter is big. Clutter is huge. It’s so much more than physical belongings, clutters, anything that is not helping you get to or helping you live the life that you want to be living. Clutter is old ideas, toxic relationships, bad habits. It’s anything that isn’t supporting your better self. Physical clutter is often the, to get rid of when we think about those other things that I just mentioned, but all clutter is overwhelming. It weighs you down and it is a burden. It’s a burden to you in any sense, whether it’s physical, clutter, emotional clutter, mental clutter, it’s all a burden to you. Some of a us don’t have trouble letting go of things.

Speaker 1: (03:42)
And other people really struggle. It is very difficult to give things away, to donate things, to decide that something is trash because we’ve been holding on for so long. But I wanna remind you of something. You only have to let go once. And you are holding every single day. Those things that you are keeping are burdening you every single day, they’re causing you to be stressed out, to waste, time, to waste money. They increase your stress. They make it harder to relax and unwind and feel good in your or home. Having said that, I want you to remember clutter is common, but what are the things that clutter is doing? What are the things that is it’s happening in your home? That is a negative. I mentioned wasting your time. Clutter wastes your time in so many ways. The big one is it causes you to not know where everything is and it to search for things and look for things.

Speaker 1: (04:43)
Because when you have a lot of clutter, everything doesn’t have a place. Everything doesn’t have a home. That’s what organization gives you. Organization gives every single thing in your home, a place to be stored, a place to live within your home. So everyone in the house can know where everything is at any given moment. So clutter is wasting your time. Clutter is consuming your energy. You have to move around it. You have to move it. You have to clean it. It’s in the way you think about it. Even when it’s on another level and it’s not something you’re consciously thinking about, it’s still there. It’s still something causing you to have this stress and overwhelm because it is constantly in your face. That’s what clutter is taking up your space. It’s taking up your time. It’s wasting your energy. It’s increasing your stress. It ma makes an unsettling environment where you feel like you have a hard I’m relaxing or unwinding, or you are not falling asleep easily at night, or maybe you’re not staying asleep.

Speaker 1: (05:48)
Clutter contributes to all of this because clutter stimulates your nervous system. It puts you on sensory overload and it can cause you to feel embarrassed or ashamed of your environment. It negatively affects everyone that is around it or living among the clutter. When you reduce clutter, you do that by a ruthless clutter or a thorough purge. You get rid of the things that you no longer need, use or want. When you purge physical clutter, it also declutters the mind. It makes you feel better. It makes you instantly feel more relaxed and not so overloaded and overstimulated all the time because of all that excess of stuff. So you’ll feel better. You will be less stressed, you’ll have less anxiety. It can improve your quality of sleep. Really. It helps your overall wellbeing. Your overall health. If you have allergies, clutter is a dust collector and a lot of people have allergy symptoms significantly decreased when they do a big declutter, because you get rid of all that stuff and you have a more clean, it’s easier to clean and vacuum and dust and get rid of all those allergens.

Speaker 1: (07:03)
One huge benefit to getting rid of the clutter is an increase in your creativity. So if you’re a creative person and you feel like your creativity, hasn’t been that strong lately, the clutter surrounding you can can tribute to that. There are many studies of both adults and kids. And when you remove the clutter from their desks or a classroom environment or an office situation, you remove the clutter and you have a peaceful, calm, simple environment to work in, to learn in, to plea homework assignments, or if it’s a business professional, it’s the same thing. It’s always the same results. Productivity and efficiency are significantly increased. And the amount of time that you can concentrate when your environment is not full of excess, physical clutter is increased. When you get rid of the clutter, all the, and you can be more efficient. You can focus longer.

Speaker 1: (08:01)
Your pro productivity is increased. Some of your creativity comes back. All kinds of good things happen when you get rid of the clutter, what do we need to do? We wanna get organized? The goal is to get organized, to create an organized home, to have, how do we do that? The first step is to tackle the clutter. You have to do a purge. You have to declutter. You have to get rid of the things that you no longer need use, or want. I say those words a lot, because the first step in organizing is to things out, to get things out of a space, empty that space and handle every single one of your belongings so that you can truly get a sense of what you have and what you want to keep. If something is not serving a purpose, if something does not fit in the need use, or want category, you can toss it.

Speaker 1: (09:05)
You can recycle it, you can pass it on and donate it. So someone that does need, use or want it can finally have that item and use it. If it’s not, not fitting in one of those three categories, then you don’t need it. Now that’s the simple, that’s the basic way. And I understand that sometimes clutter and getting rid of things and going through this purging process, depending on your personality, depending on your views and how tightly you like to hold on things and what kind of sentimental connections you have with things, the purging and decluttering process can look a little bit different because a lot of moms are so frustrated they wanna get in and they are ruthless. And the purging is not the hard part. It’s finding the time to do it and follow a system. And once I give of them, the system, they are often running and the purging is happening and they are hauling off stuff and donating things.

Speaker 1: (10:04)
And it makes the organization part, be able to happen and have simple organizing systems in your home. That work for the long term. Other of you that are list listening to this purging and decluttering might not be that easy. And if it’s not, I have a plan for you. I have a step by step guide that I’m going to share with you. It’s the guide that I use with clients and friends and family. And if I was stuck in needing to figure out what to get rid of, I would use that too. The first thing you’re going to to do is ask yourself, do I need this? Do I use this? Do I want this? If it doesn’t fit in any of those three categories, you really don’t need it. But if you are struggling, then you use my purging guide. And I have a series of questions.

Speaker 1: (10:51)
I will go over with you today that you can ask yourself, remember you’re not taking an entire closet and looking at everything as one big mass of stuff, one big pile of stuff and thinking I can’t get rid of this. What do I do? I actually going to hold every single item. You’re going to pick up every piece, every physical belonging as an individual thing, you ask yourself, if you need it, what are you going to do with it? Is it going in the bag to be donated? Is it something that is not working anymore? And it needs to be trashed? Is it a material that can be recycled? Or is this a valuable asset to you and your life and the life you wanna be living? And it is so valuable that want to keep it. And I’m not talking about monetarily valuable, valuable in the sense that you need it, you use it, or you want it to live the life that you want to be living.

Speaker 1: (11:49)
Then you keep it. It goes in that pile to keep, and then you move forward. Once you’ve finished the purging process and decide how to organize the organizing doesn’t happen until the purging is complete. Everything is removed. That is not staying before you organize. So what happens when you get stuck? What happens when you have an it that it’s tough? You, you’re not sure if to let it go, you pick it up and you have this in your hand, and you’re going to ask yourself the first question. Does this item serve a purpose? If it serves a purpose and the answer is yes, then it’s either a need a use or a want. So if you’ve already determined that, then you move on to the next question and you ask yourself, is it useful? And in working order, if the answer is no, and you do not have the means or intend to fix it within the near future, then you get rid of it.

Speaker 1: (12:48)
It’s either tossed or donated if it’s broken, it’s most likely tossed. So that second question allows you to get rid of something or keep something without guilt. The question again was, is it useful in a working order? If it is, you can move on to the next question. If it’s not, it’s time to get rid of it, put it in the correct pile. It’s not going to be kept, especially if it’s so that you intended on fixing and you’ve had four years and it hasn’t been fixed. The likeliness that you would fix that is very, very low. If you said yes, because it is still working, then we move on to the next question. Have I used it in the past year? If oh, an entire year has gone by that means that you have experienced holiday every season, all the things that happen in a year.

Speaker 1: (13:38)
And if you haven’t used it, you most likely will not use it in the future. There’s many studies on this and it’s the same thing. Sometimes we have special pieces in our home where we only use them on holidays, or we only use them on a certain special occasion. That’s fine. If you are using them, if they’re bringing you joy, if they’re making you feel good, if they’re adding to the quality of life that you want, keep them go right ahead. You’re still using it. You’re still finding joy in that you are using this item, but if it doesn’t fit into those categories and you have not used it in the past year, then it’s time to donate it. You can get rid of it. You don’t need to be responsible for storing it anymore and you can let it go. It doesn’t need to be a burden to you taking up your space and time and energy any longer.

Speaker 1: (14:28)
The next question is, is this the only item I own use for this purpose? If the answer is yes, you can move on and continue down the list of questions. If the answer is no, do you really need more than one? Because if it’s not the only item used for that purpose, are you even using it? Or did you replace it with something, but you still have that item. And it’s just being stored. It lives in your house. It takes up your time. It takes up your space. It has a holding place in your home, but you’re not really using it because you have something else that you now use for its purpose. If that’s the case, then path, sit on, donate this, put this in the donate pile and let someone else use this item. Let someone else have the benefit of that. And you can let go.

Speaker 1: (15:20)
You don’t need to be bogged down and burdened by this any longer. The next question, if you kept, if you are still going down the list and you are at the next question, because you’ve answered yes to all of these so far, the next question is, would I purchase this item again today? Now, really think about that. Sometimes we purchase things and we never use them. And they sit in a closet or a drawer or a cabinet for year, year after year after year. And when we do this big thorough purge you are doing right now, or you’re about to start all of a sudden, we find these things and then there’s guilt around these things. Well, let me tell you, if it’s a financial guilt, the money was wasted. The day you bought it, holding onto it is not a financial benefit, but donating it can help someone else that does not have this item or that doesn’t have the means to get this item, donate it to a place where someone can get this or purchase it.

Speaker 1: (16:20)
If you wouldn’t purchase this item again today, and you’re not using it, why are you still holding onto it? So if the answer’s no, put it in the donation bin. There’s one little sec. I will briefly touch on when an item is a sentimental item or you’re questioning what to do. Still. You went through the list and you’re still questioning it. This really applies to sentimental things, ask yourself, is this something that brings a smile to my face? Is this something that makes me happy if your whole on something, because you’re the only fam family member that would take it, or it was passed down to you. You, it doesn’t have meaning to you, but you’re holding onto it out of guilt. I’m giving you permission right now to let it go. Because the person you got it from wouldn’t want it to be a burden for you.

Speaker 1: (17:13)
They would not want it to be a problem for you. If someone gifted you, something, they gifted it to you because it was meaningful. At that time, people change and grow and evolve and new products come out and improvements are made. So if someone thing was gifted to you, don’t feel like you have to keep that or after year after year after year. But if you’re keeping something that truly makes you happy, it makes you smile. It brings a smile to your face. Then don’t have it shoved away in a closet somewhere, bring it out, find a use for it, have it on display, wear it, come up with a way to use it so that it can bring a smile to you every day. Not just every couple years when you clean out a closet and see it up, shoved on the top shelf.

Speaker 1: (18:02)
And remember that it’s there. Think about those things. I tried to get through that list as quick as possible, because I could give you a lot of examples and really go on and on with the purging guide and how to help you with a ruthless declutter. But I wanted to cover each step. You can take this episode. You can play this episode and you will know exactly what to do when it is time for you to declutter in purch, listen to some of the other. It’s figure out what your pain points are. Figure out what your, where your starting point is and tackle that project and purge those belongings. Figure out if you need, use, or want it. If you need to go a step further, use the steps I just gave you. And the step by step purging guide, ask yourself those questions. And as soon as you answer, no, it goes in the toss recycle or donate piles.

Speaker 1: (18:54)
Once those donate piles are getting full load up your car and drive them to your donation location and get them out of your house, get rid of them. Keep going with this. The momentum helps to motivate at you and keep you going project after project. Remember always to break your projects down into small manageable tasks so that you can be assured to get through them and knock it. Overwhelmed. Use the purging guide that I shared with you on this episode and send me messages. If you are stuck, join us in intentional edit Facebook group. If you wanna join, you can join on Facebook. It’s called declutter organize and create systems to simplify your home in life. There’s a direct link to that in the bottom of the podcast description, you can click on that and join the group post about your struggles with decluttering. I will comment to you on those posts.

Speaker 1: (19:51)
If you are struggling with something, if you have a question with something I promise someone else does too, and I would love to help as many people as possible head over there, click on the link, join us in the Facebook group and ask your questions. Let me know how I can help you. And I love before and after picture. So if you are working on an organizing project or you’re purging, if you get rid of one bag of stuff or 10 bags of stuff, take a picture, post a picture over in the Facebook group. So we can see it and encourage you and cheer you along as you are going down this journey and getting rid of the things that are no longer serving you and take you away from that life that you want to be living and having that simplicity, being able to relax and unwind and feel good in your home.

Speaker 1: (20:42)
I’m proud of you for taking the steps to get rid of the clutter, to clear the clutter from your home so that you can live the simplified life that you are desiring. You are here on this journey to simplicity, organizing and purging are a huge part in that creating systems and routines to keep that organization in place is also extremely important and it makes it so life is easier, but the first step in all of this is purging replay this episode. As many times as you need follow the step by step guides, ask yourself the questions and I promise you will have success with purging in your home. Good luck with your project. Send me your questions. If anything comes up, join our Facebook community so we can encourage you over there. And thank you so much for listening to another episode of the intentional edit podcast.

Speaker 1: (21:34)
I will meet you back here next week for the next tip Tuesday episode. Thank you for listening to the intentional edit podcast. If you found today’s episode valuable, tell your friends about it by taking a screenshot, sharing it on social and tagging the at intentional edit. I’ll be back soon with another episode in the meantime, find me at intentionaledit.com and be sure to follow intentional edit on social platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook, to ensure you catch future episodes, click the subscribe or follow button. Now I am grateful for a five star rating and review from you. Be sure to let me know what you liked about this episode and what you want me to cover in the.





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lauren - intentional edit

Lauren is the founder of Intentional Edit, a home organization and lifestyle company focused on consciously editing to create efficient and organized spaces.  Lauren believes that a functional home that looks and feels good has a positive influence on all aspects of life.  Creating systems that allow for the home to function more efficiently, therefore, eliminating most of the clutter and chaos is her priority.  While trends come and go organization is always in style!


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